Meadville Tribune


December 7, 2012

H.S. ATHLETICS: Trio of coaches close in on milestones


December 7, 2012 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE — A half-century for Scott

Saegertown knew what Steve Scott could do on a basketball court.

As a high school player in the early 70s, he amassed 722 points in two seasons with the Panthers, scoring a career-best 49 points in a win over Conneaut Valley in February of 1974.

But when put to the challenge of turning the Saegertown girls basketball program around just 12 years later, no one knew for sure just how it would all turn out in the end. A Tribune writer did predict then, though, that if Scott “produced as well courtside as he did on the hardwood, the Lady Panthers’ fortunes” would be “in good hands.”

Sure enough.

From day one, Scott has been a proven winner. In his head coaching debut, Scott led the Lady Panthers to a 55-43 win over Commodore Perry on Dec. 4, 1986 — a game in which eventual 1,000-point scorer Diane Schlosser would score 15 points to lead a trio of Saegertown players in double figures.

That career went on to produce 15 conference titles and three District 10 championships. Eleven of those league titles came in the span of 12 seasons — a run that started with a program-record 30-win season in 1994 and included a state final berth in 1999-2000.

Today’s season opener could mark yet another pivotal moment in Scott’s coaching career. He enters today’s 4 p.m. tip-off against Central Tech during the Meadville Sertoma Tipoff Tournament one win shy of No. 500.

Scott owns a career mark of 499-197 for an outstanding winning percentage of .717.

Plunkett piles ’em up

Nine hundred wins. Jamie Plunkett doesn’t have them all yet. And nobody likes to count their chickens prematurely. But with 23 regular season match-ups and two tournaments remaining on the Bulldogs’ slate (not to mention possible playoffs), chances are more than fair that he’ll get there.  

That’s just incredible — 900 wins.

True, Meadville hockey has an extensive schedule year-in and year-out, playing upwards of 50 games a season.

Still, 900 wins in the span of 27 years, that is not chump change.

Consider that Plunkett’s career record is currently 892-340-73. So he’s been the head of the Bulldogs through a whopping 1,305 total contests. And mathematically, he’s winning those contests 71.1 percent of the time.

That’s just ... wow.

See, in high school athletics, things go in cycles. Good kids roll in, a few years later they roll out again. There are good years, there are lean years. And if a coach sticks around long enough, all those peaks and valleys tend to even said coach’s career record to somewhere in the .500 range.

For a normal program, that is.

What Plunkett has built with the Meadville hockey team, winners of eight state titles, is no normal program.

The era began on Nov. 16, 1986. The Bulldogs beat Peters Township 19-0 on that night.

Win No. 900, well that’s right around the corner.

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